Wikimedia New York City/Strategic plan/2018–2020

This is a draft of Wikimedia NYC's Strategic Plan 2018–2020. Some language may be edited, but future drafts will not include any substantive changes.

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Strategic Plan 2018–2020Edit

Wikimedia New York City began as a grassroots community of Wikipedians, information professionals, and activists committed to connecting the peoples and institutions of the New York Metropolitan area with Wikipedia and the larger free-culture movement.

Prior to its recognition as an official chapter in 2009, its members clearly articulated their commitment to building a Wikipedia as democratic and diverse as the New York City subway and to partnering with libraries, museums, and educational institutions that shared their vision in providing access to knowledge. Its members also distinguished themselves through their commitment to the larger free-culture movement, recognizing that Wikipedia exists as part of a greater information ecosystem. The realization of this early vision for the Chapter is evidenced in its partnerships, its edit-a-thons and monthly meetups, and its role in the early development and growth of projects such as AfroCrowd, Art + Feminism, "Wiki Loves …" initiatives, and other catalyzing, replicable, global efforts growing from a diverse local context.

In the past few years, Wikimedia NYC has become more professionalized, culminating in three rounds of Wikimedia Foundation SAPG funding starting in 2016. We have and will continue to attract more professional expertise. We have attracted more New Yorkers to Wikimedia projects through our edit-a-thons and meetups than previously.

Beginning in July 2017, the Wikimedia NYC Board of Directors embarked on a strategic planning process to imagine the future of the Chapter. This was done with an eye towards the Wikimedia 2030 initiative advanced by our global partners in the Wikimedia movement and in conversation with our local membership. The resulting plan documents the priorities and objectives for Wikimedia NYC through June 30, 2020.


Wikimedia New York City’s mission is to contribute to a brighter, broader, and better Wikimedia movement through advancing open content and communities in partnership with the peoples and institutions of the greater New York metropolitan area.


Wikimedia NYC aims to educate the peoples and institutions of New York City about Wikimedia and the larger open knowledge movement.

Wikimedia is a vital part of a larger open-knowledge ecosystem, and the goals of our movement are best served at the intersection of education and activism across multiple platforms and communities. We will work with universities, libraries, cultural-heritage organizations, and other nonprofit advocates that share this mission. Together, we will make Wikimedia projects more visible, useful and attractive to the wider New York community.


Wikimedia NYC aims to engage new peoples, communities, and content areas in Wikimedia projects.

It is essential in our immigrant city to reach ever-broader communities, and people from all walks of life. We've pursued this as a goal for a long time, but now we can also find ways to participate in more multilingual outreach and with more types of partner organizations from different communities.
Immigrants make up over 37% of NYC's population. There are large communities from every major region of the world, totaling over 200 nationalities, with over 15 countries having at least 50,000 residents represented, and a long tail beyond that. Half of New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home. The borough of Queens alone is possibly the most diverse by this measure in the world, as identified by the Endangered Language Alliance. The Chapter wants to tap into this linguistic and cultural diversity to help grow all 291 languages on Wikipedia with targeted outreach.


Wikimedia NYC aims to foster a spirit of experimentation.

We have pioneered many new models of outreach and engagement, such as the edit-a-thon, "wiki loves", and multi-location thematic campaigns. We want to continue this spirit of experimentation, trying new types of events with Wikidata and new ways to engage with traditional projects like Wikipedia and Commons.

Strategic PrioritiesEdit


The core of our chapter's historic work has been an embrace of diversity and inclusionism in the civic domain. Through this fundamental pursuit, we serve as mentors to new editors and seek to engage new communities in the furtherance of knowledge equity.


Sustaining this work requires us to build and leverage our organic volunteer capacities. We see the development of standard workflows and professionalization as ensuring our continued success in providing knowledge as a service to our communities.


Wikimedia New York City advances its strategic priorities through its four primary program areas:

  • Chapter Membership and Community
  • Partnerships
  • Outreach and Education
  • Content Contributions

Chapter Membership and CommunityEdit

This program area focuses on growing and supporting the Wikimedia NYC membership in order to sustain the activities of the Chapter and the communities it supports. This community includes long-time editors, librarians, journalists, activists, students, retirees, developers, and artists, each of which have their own motivations for engaging with Wikimedia projects broadly and the Wikimedia NYC community specifically. In order to grow this community, Wikimedia NYC must establish a more networked membership, strengthen individual engagement with chapter activities, and provide more opportunities to advance into leadership positions. This requires infrastructure built in response to community need, starting with a friendly and welcoming space in which to operate.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Attendance at member events such as Wikipedia Day and the monthly WikiWednesday Salon & Skill-Share increases by 25%.
  • The total number of Wikimedia NYC members increases by 25%.
  • The friendly-space policy (or its equivalent) is signed by every member of the Chapter and effective means of reporting harassment are in place.


The partnerships program area provides support for programming and content contributions in collaboration with institutional partners. The scope of partnerships includes formal collaborations with Wikimedia user groups such as AfroCROWD and Art + Feminism, as well as institutions such as libraries, archives and museums, local colleges and universities, and smaller activist groups. Wikimedia NYC prioritizes partnerships with groups that share its non-profit status and its mission of supporting free access to knowledge.

Existing partnerships will be sustained through identifying and addressing additional areas of support and engagement.

In service to supporting the principles of knowledge equity, Wikimedia NYC aims to partner with geographically and financially diverse range of institutions. Through increasing programming in New York City's boroughs and the larger Metropolitan area, Wikimedia NYC will provide more opportunities for local knowledge to be made global.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Wikimedia NYC identifies opportunities for deepened engagement through surveying primary contacts at institutional partners.
  • Wikimedia NYC establishes five new partnerships with institutions that report less than 15 full-time employees.
  • Wikimedia NYC establishes five new partnerships with institutions that represent the local knowledge of the New York metropolitan area.

Outreach and EducationEdit

The outreach and education program area focuses on activities that promote and advance the work of the Chapter and its vision for open knowledge. Wikimedia NYC has hosted public facing edit-a-thons and meetups for over ten years, and is one of the most active volunteer chapter doing this work. However, there has not been a clear means of connecting local event attendees with the larger Wikimedia and open knowledge movement, and, in turn, many Wikimedians are unaware of the activities of the local chapter. Wikimedia NYC shares the vision of knowledge as a service, and aims to deepen the connections between the peoples of New York and the global open knowledge movement through its work in this program area.

We will know we are successful when:

  • Wikimedia NYC members speak about Wikimedia and/or open knowledge at five public events in the New York metropolitan area.
  • Wikimedia NYC achieves a 30% increase in communicating its work to the Wikimedia community via outlets such as The Wikipedia Signpost and This Month in GLAM.
  • The Wikimedia NYC web presence is accurate, up to date, and developed with each of its audiences in mind (e.g., Wikimedians, Wikipedians, wider public).

Content ContributionsEdit

This program area focuses on institutional partnerships and public-facing events that contribute content to Wikimedia projects in the form of text, media, and data. Approaching on ten years since it founded the movement's first museum and library collaboration events, Wikimedia NYC continues to support new and diverse editors in making contributions through this method. In addition, the Chapter recognizes its city as the cultural capital of the world, and regularly encourages and facilitates large content donations from local cultural heritage organizations, the most recent instance being the donation of 375,000 high-resolution images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Whether encouraging contributions through edit-a-thons or batch uploads, Wikimedia NYC is committed to identifying and addressing content gaps. As the Chapter moves forward, it will continue its work to address race and gender content gaps on Wikipedia, and extend this to other underrepresented groups. In addition, Wikimedia NYC will further advance knowledge equity by extending this work to Wikimedia projects beyond English Wikipedia.

We will know we are successful when:

  • There is a 25 % increase in edit-a-thons on Wikimedia projects other than English Wikipedia.
  • Wikimedia NYC facilitates one content donation from an institutional partner to a Wikimedia project.
  • Wikimedia NYC addresses a content or community gap on a Wikimedia project, with the goal of increasing the number of edit-a-thons focused on that issue by 50 %.